Having privately agreed to a settlement in his favor, Tom Petty is now happy to release a statement on his website saying he’s totally cool with this whole Sam Smith controversy. Earlier this week, Smith awarded Petty and Jeff Lynne songwriting credit on his song “Stay With Me,” which, as seen in this mash-up video, is remarkably similar to Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty and Lynne will now split 25 percent of the songwriting royalties for the hit single, and Petty’s statement clarifies that he “never had any hard feelings towards Sam.”
Petty also notes, “All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by.” Having had no need for a lawsuit, Petty can now confidently announce, “The word ‘lawsuit’ was never even said and was never my intention.” Petty also says he has no idea how news of the agreement became public and calls the whole thing, “A musical accident, no more, no less.” Given that the “musical accident” has sold more than 3.5 million tracks and is up for Song Of The Year at next month’s Grammy Awards, it’s possible Petty wouldn’t be quite so mellow about the whole thing if Smith hadn’t acquiesced so quickly.
Just to emphasize how cool he is with all of this, Petty adds, “I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.”